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Tue 17 Apr 2007 07:59 PM

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GCC debates migrant worker conditions

A Doha conference convened by the GCC Secretary General is debating how immigrant workers are treated.

Gulf Cooperation Council officials are meeting to discuss a unified policy for the treatment of foreign workers in the Middle East.

A conference in Doha, Qatar, has been convened today by the Secretary General of the GCC with the aim of reaching a heads of agreement on the issue of migrant workers.

"The aim of the symposium is to develop population policies that address the impact of migrant communities and foreign workers by identifying tools and procedures that can be adopted in Arab Gulf States," said Sheikh Hamad bin Jabor al Thani, President of the GCC permanent population committee and Secretary General of the planning council.

Individual countries within the GCC have been focusing recently on improving working conditions, particularly for low-paid manual labourers.

At the end of March, for example, the UAE Labour Ministry announced plans to introduce a minimum wage for construction workers, although did not state what the

minimum would be


That move was followed by calls for other GCC countries to follow suit as the recruitment of foreign labour becomes a competitive

issue for national economies


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